Zephyr Cove Resort Wedding

Zephyr Cove Resort Wedding | Lake Tahoe, NV | Ana + Andrew

Ana and Andrew had me at pizza.

When we first spoke in 2015 about their wedding, over a year out, Ana was most excited about the pizza.  As a photojournalist, there are few details that I worry about on a wedding day.  I am, frankly, unconcerned with the pomp and circumstance and whether or not you’re going to have any traditions.  By all means, cut that cake and I will photograph it, but I’m not going to orchestrate your day or suggest that you do things you don’t want to for photos sake.  What I will get behind though: pizza.

The pizza was fantastic.

But the rest of their day, that was fantastic also.  From the tear inducing speeches to the cake in Andrew’s brother’s face, from the coordinated and choreographed first dances (Ana and her father danced to Time Warp!), everything about their daytime Zephyr Cove Resort wedding with a pizza buffet was right up my alley.

Venue: Zephyr Cove Resort | Coordinator : Stephanie Stugart | Officiant: Sharon Rusk | Invitations: Mighty Industries | Florist: Rose Petals Florist | Bakery: Tahoe Cakes by Grace | DJ: Southworth Entertainment | Bride’s Attire: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse | Hair and Make-Up: Tahoe Salon Be | Videographer: HeavenSide Studios | Second Shooter: Annie Robillard

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Tahoe Engagement Session

Tahoe Engagement Session | Lake Tahoe, CA | Lisa + Jeff

Lisa and Jeff wanted a double whammy of locations for their Tahoe engagement session: forest and mountains were important to them so we hit up Kahle Community Center for the aspens and the forest and then the Trout Creek meadow behind Al Tahoe for some epic mountain views of Tallac and a killer sunset.  These two were married earlier in March and I’m looking forward to sharing their gorgeous Tahoe winter wedding photos with everyone!

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Tahoe Fall Family Portraits

Tahoe Fall Family Portraits | Scholl Family

“We just had our 5th photo session with Lauren and she is worth her weight in gold. We’ve hired her to take our maternity photos, newborn, 6mo/holiday, 1st birthday, and now our holiday photos again. They’ve all turned out amazing! At our latest session, our (now) 18 month old was tired, hungry, and extremely cranky. All he wanted to do was eat his cheerios and yell/scream/cry. Lauren was amazing, just rolled with it and kept us all laughing and lighthearted while my son had a total meltdown. I thought it was a complete disaster. However, we just got our photos back, and you’d have no idea that my son was so miserable! She managed to capture the few moments when he was actually happy and smiling and made the session totally worth it! I am in love with the photos and can’t wait to order our holiday cards. Cannot recommend Lauren enough!”

I think Jess’s online review of these Tahoe fall portraits says it all.

And look at these photos.  She’s right.  You’ll have no idea that her son was miserable.  But we know the truth.

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Tahoe Winter Proposal

Tahoe Winter Proposal | Stateline, NV | Erik + Alex

Making your marriage proposal meaningful by taking her back somewhere special to the two of you is an awesome way to go, especially when it’s a place that will always be there.  Like Lake Tahoe – whose massive features and pristine waters aren’t apt to disappear anytime soon.  It’s unlikely that anyone will even be around if you plan a Tahoe winter proposal like Erik did for Alex.  There was nary a soul in sight when he went down on one knee on the pier at Edgewood Golf Course.

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Tahoe Family Photos

Tahoe Family Photographer | Morrow Family

It looks a little bit different in Tahoe today than it did a month and a half ago when the Morrow Family hired me to be their Tahoe Family Photographer!  If you can believe it, this is the very same spot that Melissa and Eric and I ventured into during one of our most epic snowstorms of the year for a snowshoeing meets engagement photo adventure!  The Morrow family was incredibly fun to work with – they are a versatile, fun loving motley crew that I meshed well with straight from the get-go.  They are also from Texas, so, of course, I felt right at home with them!

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Tahoe family Photos

Winter Portraits in Lake Tahoe | Sundell Family

The Sundell Family was hoping for snowy winter portraits in Lake Tahoe for their holiday card photos.  Unfortunately, the week before their scheduled appointment with me, it rained quite a bit and washed most of the snow away.  Not to be deterred, they decided to proceed and oddly enough it ended up snowing during their session!  So although their family portraits weren’t totally white and snow filled, they did get the essence of winter.

Clients ask me all the time what to wear for their family photos and I think this family nailed it!  Neutral palettes are a great way to stand out for family portraits in the forest.  You want to coordinate colors, but not be completely matching.  By choosing two or three colors in a coordinating palette, as they did, you can stand out and allow a mix of textures, accessories and trim stand out!

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Landing Resort Wedding

Landing Resort Wedding | Lake Tahoe, CA | Lex + Michael

Lex and Michael’s image from their Hora may be one of my most favorite images ever.  The combination of surprise, concern and hands everywhere makes me incredibly happy.  I also couldn’t help but put a ton of their portraits in this post, which is unusual for me, but they are so ridiculously good looking and adorable that I couldn’t help myself.  This young couple has been together SINCE JUNIOR HIGH (yes, seriously) and their parents and families are already best friends.  What I expected to be a quiet, subdued Sunday brunch Landing Resort Wedding was the exact opposite: from a poignant ceremony, to tear filled speeches, to a pumped up dance party, this wedding delivered like no other brunch wedding ever has.

Venue: The Landing Resort and Spa | Officiant: Sharon Rusk | Florist: Thran’s | DJ: Ascent DJ Productions | Bakery: Tahoe Cakes by Grace | Bride’s Attire: Free People | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse

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Snowshoe Engagement Session

Snowshoe Engagement Session | Eric + Melissa

“I’m not sure if you quite understand what’s happening up here,” one of my emails to Melissa said, when I told her that we weren’t going to be able to just walk into the forest for their winter engagement session.  Melissa and Eric became engaged at Lake Tahoe and she had a specific adventurous outdoor mission in mind for her engagement photos: she wanted a snowy thick forested wonderland.  I could certainly deliver it, but in light of the five feet of snow we’d received in the two days before we were set to photograph, it wasn’t going to be easy.  It was the first of a series of snowstorms we’ve deemed “snowmageddon” which has since turned into “rainmageddon.”

“You’re going to need snowshoes,” I said.  They found snowshoes.

“You’re going to need a sense of adventure,” I might have said, “and some good natured enthusiasm.”

As it turns out, a sense of adventure and good natured enthusiasm is inherent in this dynamic duo and there was absolutely no reason that I would have needed to say that!  We spent an hour frollicing, falling, post holing, and burying ourselves in snow for their winter snowshoe engagement session and I loved every minute of it.  I can’t wait to photograph this rad couple’s 2018 wedding and spend more time laughing and adventuring for their photos.  After this, I am quite positive that they would be up for absolutely anything that included scrambling, climbing and adventure!

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Winter Portraits in the Snow

Winter Portraits in the Snow | Frank Family

You can’t fake candid: it’s always a little contrived.  Capturing real innocence, warmth, silliness and frustration is a little different and the magic happens only if I get to stop directing and families just start being themselves.  Most kids don’t love taking direction and would rather either completely ignore you, or be completely involved in the process, so frankly, why not let them?  I promise that often the best images happen when you think everything is a failure.

I couldn’t have asked for better moments during this winter family photo shoot in the snow.  Daily family life isn’t perfect and neither should the memories of your kids be.  I’m always thankful when winter portraits in the snow erupt into impromptu laughter and tear inducing snowball fights!  This is absolutely one of my favorite winter sessions of family photos at Lake Tahoe that I’ve photographed this year.

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Family Photos at lake Tahoe

Tahoe Family Photographer | Pacnya Family

I had a string of amazing families from Texas hire me this summer and this wild bunch was one of them.  These kids were an absolute blast to work with – they were excited to explore Valhalla Estate with me, eager to show off their jumping skills, and incredibly energetic.  I loved spending time with them and their energy clearly shows in the photos.  I’m not sure if it’s surprising (or not), but this is a fraction of the awesome jumping photos this crew amassed in their hour with me!

Are you coming to Lake Tahoe for the holidays?  Family photos at Lake Tahoe are an awesome way to capture your memories and spend time with your family.  It can clearly be a super fun activity for everyone and you return home with professionally captured moments from your vacation from me, an obstreperous longtime local and Tahoe family photographer!

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